Running Sensors/IoT Wearables

runScribe takes all the running data you need in stride

The Premise. Runners and joggers love to run and jog all the time. The only problem with this high-impact sport is the injuries that it can cause. These injuries tend to knock athletes off of their feet and they are unable to run for a period of time. It is unclear where these injuries come from and why they occur so frequently.

The Product. RunScribe is a small portable device that attaches to the back of your shoe via a cradle that works with all different kinds of sneakers. This device is worn during a run and, at the end, automatically uploads its data to your computer. Using its 9-axis kinematic sensor, the product measures 13 points of data including impact Gs, braking Gs, pronation velocity, pace, contact time and footstrike type. It runs on battery and uses Bluetooth to connect to the iOS and Android app as well as the computer. RunScribe is small and only about the size of pedometer.

The Pitch. RunScribe’s campaign video shows its creator discussing the drawbacks of running-induced injuries. He explains that with the metrics his product provides, a runner will be able to compare their stats with that of the average runner through the app. For example, he found that he was hitting the ground much harder than the average. In addition, he discusses the value of using runScribe to compare different types of sneakers. RunScribe is hoping to raise $50,000 in a month on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $99, backers will receive the runScribe with limited metrics. At the $119 tier, backers get the runScribe and complete set of metrics at an early price as compared to the regular price of $139. Reward tiers reach up to $2,500 with estimated delivery set in November and December 2014. 

The Potential. Fitness devices are everywhere right now. Not literally, they’re not lying around in the streets, but there are a ton of options to choose from for any athlete looking for metrics about their performance. Most are more overarching like the Arcus ring, but runScribe offers a service that’s unique to runners. It lives on the foot instead of the wrist or finger to get the data that runners need. In addition, it provides baseline statistics on what other runners are experiencing. All in all, runScribe is an excellent option for runners who want to prevent injury and improve their stride.

Music Tech Accessories

Brick and Bullet make Mac-based music simple and clear

The Premise. The performance stage has changed for musicians in the last few years, as many performers are finding it easier to just connect their equipment through a MacBook and play through AirPlay. However, going beyond what AirPlay was designed to support can cause a wealth of problems, certainly not the least of which is lag between the performance and the outputted audio.

The Product. Really two separate products, the Brick is a Mac mini-like Ethernet switch designed for professional digital audio that can connect to instruments, mixers, amps, and more, bringing it all together to be controlled with a single application. The Bullet is an adapter to connect audio jack-controlled instruments to Ethernet devices like the Brick, bridging analog and digital. The Brick and Bullet setup is natively supported by and MacOS device running Mavericks, including MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, or iMac.

The Pitch., creators of the Brick and Bullet, demonstrate the difference between using AirPlay with an AirPort Express and using a Brick through simply playing the keyboard. It can be almost painful waiting for the sound to come out after each of the keys is hit on the former setup, but with the Brick the two are simultaneous. While the technology behind the Brick and Bullet is certainly a little more than just end user-level stuff, the campaign for the Brick and Bullet keeps things simple and straight to the point, perfect for performers who just want to know if the device will fix their issues. has set its goal at $35,000, largely to finish development of the Bullet.

The Perks. The Brick Ethernet switch will launch in September 2014 and backers who pledge $300 can get their hands on one. For those that want to get the complete rig for live digital audio, a Brick with two Bullets is available at the $850 tier in November, and the set can be custom engraved for $1,500.

The Potential. For performers, adding a Brick and Bullet setup to the stage can certainly make things easier to handle DIY digital audio. For a similar price however, it’s not too much to expect to be able to set things up using a standard analog setup with amps and cables. If it’s digital or bust, then there’s certainly nothing wrong with picking up these items to get the most out of a simple MacBook-style performance setup.


For those about to rock, Amperage Pedals will help

The Premise. Trying to make it in the music business is hard, that’s no secret. Besides all the shows, all the writing and the practice, there’s a physical aspect to it as well. Putting on a good show usually requires managing a lot of equipment and making audio adjustments. Without a roadie or a sound guy, that just becomes even more work to add into the mix.

The Product. The Amperage Pedal is designed to take the ease of bringing a laptop or tablet on stage with an act and give it the kind of functionality that a quality amp would. With chicken-head knobs that are easy to turn and full programmability through the StageManager program packaged with it, musicians can change the volume, tone, treble, bass, mid, reverb, or anything that can be assigned through a MIDI controller. This package of hardware and software is designed to ultimately do one thing: rock crowds.

The Pitch. The North Shore Guitar team shows off what the Amperage Pedal can do with a quick studio jam session. The demonstration is a little long for what it offers, but true guitar aficionados will see the impact, and after all that’s who this product is made for. The other campaign materials show off the Amperage Pedal’s internals, and there is also a video demonstration of the StageManager software necessary to bring the most out of the pedal. The project is looking for the oddly precise sum of $9,781 to order all the necessary parts to manufacture the pedals.

The Perks. The Amperage Pedal takes the stage in May 2014. Early backers can get the pedal and the corresponding StageManager software for $178. Musicians that want to add a little flair can have custom artwork put on their pedal at the $370 tier.

The Potential. The Amperage Pedal isn’t exactly high-tech, it’s not stylish or flashy, and it probably won’t revolutionize the small concert. But it does look extremely well-built, perfectly functional, and will probably be a giant leap forward for those that take the time to get used to how the device works and how it can improve a live performance. It’s a curious mix of effect pedal and mixing board that could become a staple for upcoming bands everywhere.

Personal Transportation Sports

Kuberg Free-Rider gives electric bikes the power to play

The Premise. Gas powered motorcycles are becoming harder and harder to use for pleasure, due to rising costs and environmental restrictions, while their electric counterparts are mostly made only for young children or to cruise at low speeds.

The Product. The Kuberg Free-Rider is different. With a weight of 84 pounds, and a 2 kW BLDC motor, the Free-Rider can get up to 34 MPH for about an hour supporting a rider twice its weight. With quality forks, suspension, and brakes, this bike is meant for catching air and enjoying the thrill of the ride.

The Pitch. Kuberg learned how to make a quality electric motorcycle by first offering children’s sizes and models. Now realizing that the next step is to apply the same technology for teenagers and adults, they show off the Free-Rider in action as it hits off-road trails, gets some lift off of jumps, and does some trial riding both indoors and outdoors. This bike is not meant to necessarily replace the performance of a gas-powered alternative, but rather supplement it for training and in places where the exhaust could be harmful. Kuberg needs $100,000 strictly for materials and manufacturing costs, as they operate their own proprietary factories.

The Perks. Hitting the trails on a Kuberg Free-Rider takes a pledge of $1,999, nearly half the retail cost. A stronger-motor model, the RACE, is available for $2,999, and the TREX model, which is a lightweight trial bike, is available to backers in a preproduction model for $4,999. Other bikes are available at a discount for backers starting at $599 for the basic Trial E model that includes mechanical brakes and no seat kit. Additional battery packs are available at the $599 level, as are quick chargers that will recharge batteries in less than 30 minutes. Most rewards are expected to be delivered in September of this year, while the prototype TREX should reach backers in July 2015.

The Potential. These electric bikes have already been popular with younger, smaller riders, so the decision to make more grown-up models makes perfect sense. Aside from their entertaining aspects, electric bikes like the Kuberg Free-Rider could be the next breakthrough in urban transportation, and it helps that this company is paying attention to things like performance and design, not just trying to make an upper-end children’s toy.